Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog

Cassiefairy's thrifty little lifestyle blog – DIY crafts, sewing, food & fashion – what more does a girl need??


Festive fashion for men

Not only do us girls need to look the part for the festive party season, but the fellas need to sharpen up their image for all the Christmas functions they will be attending too. Outside of the office is the perfect time to shine and really show off your fashion know-how and good taste, so Christmas parties give you the chance to step out of your 9-to-5 suit and choose something really ‘you’.

So what is out there for men this winter season? A top trend for smart-casual wear is the blazer – a sharper cut than a traditional suit, it looks fashionable and classy, while accentuating broad shoulders and makes any man look more streamlined! My husband is a particular fan of the blazer and will wear one with a shirt, jumper or even denim to make any outfit look a little more dressy. He has been clamouring for a custom-fitted blazer for years and getting the right fit for someone with longer-than-normal arms is important, so it is a good investment to buy a custom-made blazer in a navy blue or deep grey that will go with anything. He’ll be able to wear it for work, special occasions and smart events all year round, so will certainly get his money’s-worth out of it! Knowing my husband, he will probably want to have a bright or patterned lining fabric, and when having a jacket custom-made, he can do just that!

mens festive party wear tailored blazers from balani

A second option for more formal festive events is the tailored suit from Balani (below). Nothing looks better on a man than a well-cut suit (just think about James Bond for a moment…) and it cannot be beaten for elegant style when combined with the right shirt and tie accessories. My husband favours a suit for this kind of event, because it means he will be warm while getting to and from the event, he can take off the suit jacket to dance and he tells me that he likes to be chivalrous by offering his jacket to shivering ladies (obviously, he only offers his jacket to me now, or at least I hope so!). Although a suit might seem a rather safe choice, you can make the look your own by choosing a cool colour, interesting pattern or textured fabric. Plus my husband likes to add the loudest bow-tie he can find – at least it serves as a good ice-breaker! James Bond he is not!

mens festive party wear tailored suits from balani

Images courtesy of Balani

So while you’re looking gorgeous and glamorous in your best party dress, your date will look equally classy in a swish tailored outfit and the pair of you will turn heads at any special events you attend over the festive period.


Tuesday Shoesday ~ Mens brogues

There’s something about the trend for ‘boyfriend’ clothes that makes me happy. It always looks so comfortable – probably because it’s over-size – and there’s always the chance that it will still smell a little of your fella’s aftershave, which is the best scent in the world! I’ve been shopping for a denim shirt for ages but couldn’t find the right one, so when my hubby tried on a gorgeous denim shirt in H&M I actually ‘grrrr’d that he’d found one and I hadn’t. But then a light-bulb went off in my head and I demanded that I try it on too. So I headed into the changing rooms and thankfully it fitted me just right and I didn’t look too much like I was wearing a typical painter-and-decorator outfit (which is what all the women’s denim shirts looked like on me). So we decided to go halves on it and share the denim shirt. It obviously looks waaay better on him than on me, but I love it and it’s kinda cute-but-sickening that we are sharing clothes now!

tuesdsay shoesday mens footwear grey suede brogues for ladies

Now, it’s not quite the same deal with ‘boyfriend shoes’. Unless you and your fella have got the same size feet, the whole ‘caring-and-sharing’ thing isn’t going to work. Hubby bought this grey suede pair above from a charity shop in Cambridge and although I think they are great, there’s no-way I’d be able to wear them on my size 4 trotters. But taking inspiration from mens shoes does work and I love, love, LOVE all the the brogue-esque ladies shoes out there. You may remember that I stocked up on a pair of school shoes from New Look recently (below) and I’ve just realised how broguey they actually are – albeit with a small heel. I think it’s the heel, the wedge or the stiletto that makes these brogues more wearable for women (especially vertically-challenged ones like me) – although a flat pair with trousers is super cool or wearing flat brogues with a casual dress is possibly the cutest look around.

tuesday shoesday back to school shoes from new look

I’m currently reading Luella’s Guide to English Style by designer Luella Bartley and she mentions brogues in her list of English fashion staples – here’s what she has to say about them: “A rolled-up boiler suit, white ankle socks and a pair of brogues. One of the pivotal moments in my style education. Bananarama, I will always love you. There is so much more I could say on this matter but isn’t that beautiful vision a strong enough argument in itself?”. If Luella is championing the traditional brogue in her list of stylish footwear, we can’t be going too far wrong by wearing these classics.

While out on the high street this week, I noticed a massive influx female brogues in the stores and, although I’m sticking with my bargain ‘school shoes’ from the teen department, here are my favourites from New Look at £16, tan ASOS shoes at £14 in the sale,  and patent brogues £12 from George at Asda – what a bargain!

tuesday shoesday ladies brogues flat shoes from george asda asos new look

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Fashion’s not just for big fairies – its for the fellas too…

Today sees the launch of the British Fashion Council’s dedicated mens fashion weekend so I thought I’d better take some time to focus on men’s fashion for a change!

NEWGEN MEN began in September 2009 and has since become instrumental in raising the profile of emerging British designers and the first ever male-only fashion week  London Collections: Men is running from 15th – 17th June, kick starting the Menswear calendar with a showcase of British brands and businesses. This event has developed from the popular Men’s day at London Fashion Week and gives male fashion its own focused event and will emphasise both the creative and commercial importance of Britain’s brands and emerging talent as well as the rich British cultural landscape that continues to the inspire and improve the success of the fashion industry in the UK.

Caroline Rush CEO of the British Fashion Council, commented “We’re delighted to be supporting six of London’s emerging menswear talents this season, with special thanks going to TOPMAN for their continued and on-going support of the NEWGEN MEN initiative. This announcement kick-starts the countdown to the launch of our dedicated menswear showcase, London Collections: Men, and is the perfect opportunity to celebrate Britain as a leading force in menswear and capital of emerging talent.”

At London Collections: Men you can expect to see refined tailoring by menswear designer Lou Dalton, Knitwear from fashion collective SIBLING, high quality crafted pieces by Christopher Raeburn and even jewellery from Andrew Bunney. So I’ll be keeping an eye out to gain inspiration for hubby’s Autumn/Winter wardrobe and I hope to be able to update you on some of my favourite looks from NEWGEN MEN in subsequent posts.


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